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David Victor Harris was a renowned American journalist and activist born on February 28, 1946, and passed away on February 6, 2023.
He gained prominence as a leader in the movement against the Vietnam War, advocating for civil disobedience against military conscription and even refusing his orders to report for military duty, leading to his imprisonment for almost two years.
After his release, Harris established a distinguished 50-year career as a journalist and author, reporting on national and international stories.
|David Victor Harris
|Date of birth
|February 28, 1946
|Date of death
|February 6, 2023
David Victor Harris Early Life
David Victor Harris was an American journalist and activist born February 28, 1946, in Fresno, California. His dad, Clifton G. Harris Jr., was a real estate lawyer, and his mother, Elaine Jensen Harris, was a Christian Scientist and a homemaker. Harris had an older brother named Clifton G. Harris III.
David Victor Harris Education
Harris and his brother attended Fresno High School in Fresno, where he excelled as a football letterman, honor student, and debater. He was named “Boy of the Year” upon graduation in 1963 and was admitted to Stanford University on a scholarship.
He became involved in Civil Rights and was elected student president at Stanford in the spring of 1966.
David Victor Harris’s Career
In 1967, David Harris helped establish The Resistance, an organization that promoted civil disobedience against military conscription and the Vietnam War it fueled.
The Resistance led several public draft card returns in 1967 and 1968, where around ten thousand young men openly defied the government and risked arrest.
Harris refused to comply when he received orders to report for military duty in January 1968. He was quickly indicted and charged with “disobedience of a lawful order of induction,” a felony.
In May 1968, he was tried and convicted, receiving a three-year sentence with the judge’s warning that he would be punished despite his beliefs.
David Victor Harris Conviction
Harris spent one year attempting to overturn his conviction, but his efforts were unsuccessful. In July 1969, he was placed in the custody of the Attorney General and incarcerated in the Federal Prison System.
He served twenty months in prison, including one month in Francisco County Jail, 7 months in the Prison Camp in Arizona, and twelve months in the Federal Correctional Institution in Texas.
After his departure on March 15, 1971, Harris continued his anti-war activism until peace agreements were signed in March 1973.
In 1976, Harris ran for Congress as the Democratic Party’s nominee against Republican incumbent Rep. Pete McCloskey, who was nationally recognized for his proposal for mandatory national service.
Harris campaigned against the resumption of Selective Service registration and supported draft registration resisters in the 1980s and beyond.
Harris is prominently featured in the 2020 documentary The Boys Who Said NO!, chronicling the story of draft resistance during the Vietnam War.
In March 1973, Jann Wenner, founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine gave Harris a tryout with the magazine. This began his over forty-year national and international magazine journalist career.
Harris signed a contributing contract with The NYT Magazine in 1978, where he worked for the next decade. After leaving The Times, he focused on writing books and ultimately published eleven.
David Victor Harris’s Relationship With Joan Baez
In 1967, Joan Baez and nearly 70 other women, including her mother, were arrested for obstructing the entrance of the Oakland, California Armed Forces Induction Center. They were imprisoned in Santa Rita Jail.
David Harris first met Baez when he approached her in Carmel Valley to seek a donation for The Resistance. They later became close, and Baez moved into Harris’ draft-resistance commune in the hills above Stanford, California.
After knowing each other for only three months, they married. The news made headlines and was dubbed by Time magazine as the “Wedding of the Century.
The wedding occurred on March 26, 1968, in New York City. They exchanged vows that combined elements of Episcopalian and Quaker traditions and were officiated by a pacifist minister. Baez’s friend Judy Collins sang at the ceremony.
The couple then settled in a house in Los Altos Hills on a 10-acre land named Struggle Mountain, a commune, where they lived as strict vegetarians and tended gardens.
Shortly after, Harris refused military induction and was indicted. Federal marshals took him to prison in July 1969. Baez, pregnant at the time, was visible in public, including at the Woodstock Festival, where she performed some songs.
Harris was released from prison 15 months later, but they separated three months after his release and divorced amicably in 1973.
They shared custody of their son Gabriel, who lived primarily with Baez. The former couple remained on friendly terms and reunited for a PBS documentary in 2009.
David Victor Harris’s Relationship With Lacey Fosburgh
Harris remarried in 1977 to Lacey Fosburgh, a New York Times reporter and novelist. They had a daughter named Sophie in 1983. Fosburgh died due to breast cancer in 1993.
Harris then began a relationship with physician Cheri Forrester in 1996, and they got married in 2011. They lived in Mill Valley, California.
David Victor Harris’s Daughter
Born on February 23, 1983, in Santa Clara County, California, USA, Sophie Harris is a well-known producer and director, with notable works including Big Water Summer: A Creation Story (2022), How to Die in Oregon (2011), and Beware the Slenderman (2016).
David Victor Harris, Son
David Victor Harris’ son Gabriel Harris has been involved in music from an early age. Gabriel possesses expertise in drumming and holds the position of CEO at Rhythm Village.